At least eight people were killed and hundreds injured in South Africa on Wednesday (16 June) during rioting in the black township of Soweto near Johannesburg.
AV Smoke from fire in Soweto township (3 shots)
CU PAN Car with smashed windscreens (4 shots)
SV South African troops in street
CU Tear gas being put into container
CU Black, Asian and white troops (4 shots)
SV Troops and police in landrovers (2 shots)
SV Black crowd
SV PAN Ambulance along street (2 shots)
GV EXT Hospital and sign "Casualty"
SV & GV Demonstrators in street with placards "We support you Soweto" and others (3 shots)
The incident has come at an embarrassing time for South African Prime Minister John Vorster who, a week from now, is due to meet United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in West Germany. The talks are about the problems of white ruled states in southern African and Mr. Vorster is expected to face some searching questions on Rhodesia, South West Africa (Namibia) and South Africa's internal policy of apartheid (separate racial development).
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Background: At least eight people were killed and hundreds injured in South Africa on Wednesday (16 June) during rioting in the black township of Soweto near Johannesburg.
SYNOPSIS: Hours after the riots fires were still coming from the township where a million Africans live. The original demonstration was against the white minority South African government's attempts to enforce teaching of Afrikaans in schools. Afrikaans is the language derived from the high Dutch of South Africa's 17th century white settlers. During the violence police opened fire when crowds of stone throwing blacks advanced shouting "Power, power".
The dead included two black schoolchildren, shot by the police and two white men whom the rioters hauled from their cars and stabbed to death. The incidents started after schoolchildren on strike because of the Afrikaans teaching, were joined by adults. Finally about 10,000 youths went on a rampage through the township's dark, narrow streets.
The demonstration became violent when a white policeman threw a tear gas canister into the crowd. The demonstrators, who had ben singing, chanting and waving placards, became angry when the canister was thrown, according to a black journalist at the scene. Police minister Jimmy Kruger said the police had used as little force as possible. He said the tear gas was not very successful in the open air so the police fired warning shots. This stopped the crowd for a while but they came on again.
Just before midnight a government spokesman said the situation was under control but unofficial sources reported that looting and the burning of shops and vehicles was still going on. Government authorities collected six bodies but the black woman journalist at the scene took a young boy, who eventually died, to a clinic.
Soon after the deaths, students at Johannesburg's Witwatersrand University demonstrated in sympathy with the rioters. Black churchman Mr. Barney Ngakane said recently that the Afrikaans issue had become a symbol of resistance to white oppression and authority amongst black youth.